At ASK, we believe that curriculum must be based on a current, clearly articulated progression of Standards of Learning. These standards and corresponding Benchmarks must be sequential and dynamic to meet the needs of our unique students. To that end, at ASK, we use specific standards of learning chosen from AERO Common Core State Standards. We believe that in doing so, we are able to meet the values and mission of ASK and provide quality learning and success for our students, the future leaders of tomorrow. At ASK we are dedicated to using exemplary educational practices to provide students with a strong academic foundation. Our goal in designing our curriculum is also to address the affective domain. We wish to provide opportunities for students in their studies to utilize problem solving, inquiry, discovery and self-direction as well as creative and critical thinking. To ensure alignment and current pedagogy, we utilize a school wide curriculum review process where we review Standards and Benchmarks and match those with quality textbooks and learning resources. All students are expected to carry a full program of studies. Grade 8 yearlong core courses include English, Albanian, Pre-Algebra, Earth Science, Social Studies and Physical Education. Electives include Art and Theatre. Grade 8 students are required to study the following core subjects:
Grade 8 students learn and apply interviewing techniques as well as continuing to refine and build presentation skills. They demonstrate the correct use of language, spelling and mechanics by applying grammatical conventions in writing and speaking. Students plan, draft, revise and edit writing, with emphasis on exposition and persuasion in essay writing. A Grade 8 student applies reading and writing skills as well as responds critically to literature, reading a variety of fiction and nonfiction independently for appreciation and comprehension. Students describe themes or inferred main ideas, interpret cause and effect relationships and draw conclusions from a variety of literary and informational selections. A Grade 8 student is able to use a systematic research process and produce a final writing portfolio that contains samples of polished, publishable writing.
Albanian in Grade 8 represents a progression from Elementary Albanian to Middle School Albanian. Students read and write compositions in Albanian, with a focus on the preliminary study of syntax. Students summarize novels and simple poetry to develop their verbal skills in language and become more familiar with the more advanced genres of literature as they advance. Students who may have weak Albanian skills may qualify for Albanian ALS support. This will be discussed with the Albanian Teacher and School Principal before a decision is made.
In Pre-Algebra, Grade 8 students review or extend concepts and skills learned in previous grades and add new content that prepares them for more abstract concepts in algebra and geometry. Students gain proficiency in computation with rational numbers and use proportions to solve a variety of problems. New concepts include solving two-step equations and inequalities, with a focus on the Pythagorean Theorem and probability.
By the end of the course, Grade 8 students will be able to connect the study of the earth’s composition, structure and processes alongside its environment in space. Students will emphasize historical contributions in the development of scientific thought concerning earth and space and interpret maps, charts, tables and profiles. They will use technology to collect, analyze and report data and utilize science skills in systematic investigation. Problem solving and decision making are an integral part of Earth Science and students will study the fundamental concepts of ecology, geology, hydrology meteorology and astronomy. Major topics of study include plate tectonics, the rock cycle, earth history, the oceans, the atmosphere, weather and climate and the solar system and universe. Field and laboratory experiences are an integral part of science investigation.
In Social Studies and Foundations to Modern Civilization, students explore the historical development of people, places and patterns of life from approximately the 1st Century BC to 1500 AD. Students study the history and geography of great Empires that were developing throughout the world during these years. Social Studies students explore Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, West African, Classical Asian and American Empires of the time. They also study the early middle Ages as a transition area of study from Empires to Europe, in preparation for their continued study in History.
In Grade 8 students are expected to demonstrate competence in skilful movement in modified, dynamic game situations and in a variety of dance and recreational activities. They transition from modified versions of movement forms to more complex applications across all types of activities including sport, dance and recreational pursuits. Students demonstrate the ability to assume responsibility for guiding their own learning as they apply their knowledge and abilities to create a practice plan to improve performance in one of these areas. They demonstrate mature responsibility as they show respect for others, make reasoned and appropriate choices, resist negative peer pressure and exhibit fair play. Students are able to set goals, track progress and participate in physical activities to improve health related fitness. Students participate in PE on a daily basis.
Grade 8 Art will focus on the synthesis and application of previously learned concepts. Students will be able to apply more complex technical skills as they manipulate the elements of art and the principles of design and art media. Students will acquire art skills that enable them to make conscious choices of media and techniques for expressive purposes. They produce works of art that are developed from preliminary ideas and sketches and will debate the purposes of art, develop their own criteria for making art judgments and develop a personal aesthetic. The acquisition of these skills enables students to place the discipline of art within a broader context and relate it to other fields of knowledge.
Theater arts are an important part of the lives of all students and the community. Our program is designed to promote the development of the individual’s need for dramatic self-expression. The program strives to develop the ability to appreciate the role theater arts plays in the improvement of the quality of our lives. Exposure to and appreciation of theater traditions from western and non-western regions and cultures is fundamental to our philosophy. Our department recognizes and benefits from the great variety of cultures represented at ASK.